Spitfire F Mk IX
|This page is about the British fighter Spitfire F Mk IX. For other versions, see Spitfire (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The superiority of the Fw 190 over the Spitfire Mk V quickly became apparent after its introduction in late 1941. While a new engine, the Merlin 61, with a two-stage supercharger had been developed, a new airframe for high-altitude operations was still in the works; thus, as an interim measure, the new engine was fitted into the Spitfire Mk Vc, producing the Spitfire Mk IX. Even without the aerodynamic and structural improvements of the new design, the Mk IX was found to be an effective counter to the Fw 190, with much greater speed, climb rate, and high-altitude manoeuvrability than the Mk V, while matching its low-level performance. Many Mk Vc's would be converted to the new standard, and were armed in both all-cannon and B-type wing-style arrangements, but with the advantage of greater ammunition capacity due to the belt-feeding of the cannons facilitated by the wing redesign. In early 1943, the Merlin 61 engines were gradually replaced by the Merlin 63, and production of the Spitfire F Mk IX was finally halted in late 1943 in favour of the Merlin 66-powered LF Mk IX.
Introduced in Update 1.35, the Spitfire Mk IX series is the pinnacle of the Merlin-powered Spitfires. They feature an exceptional rate of climb and adequate speed, whilst still retaining the manoeuvrability of their early lineage. The Mk IX presents a good introduction to the more energy-fighting style of the later Griffon-powered aircraft, making use of the altitude advantage to make passes on an opponent while retaining the ability to return to a turn-fighting approach when desired. However, the F Mk IX also reverts to the rather outmoded twin cannon and quad machine gun layout of its predecessors, which can result in rather meagre damage output compared to its contemporaries and opponents. While the Spitfire Mk IX also finally comes with the ability to carry ground ordnance, the single option of a 250 lb bomb is very lacklustre, and its effect against medium and heavy targets is limited. It should be used only to engage lightly armoured vehicles and SPAAs, if at all.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 8,537 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 321||< 400||< 350||> 450|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|4,100 m||1,400 hp||1,624 hp|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|8,000 m||1,160 hp||1,346 hp|
Survivability and armour
- 38 mm Bulletproof glass - Armoured windscreen
- 3 mm Steel - Armour plate on top of fuel tanks
- 4 mm Steel - Armour plate on pilot's seat. Behind pilot is another 6-7 mm steel plate
- 3 mm Steel - Armour plates around ammunition
Modifications and economy
The Spitfire F Mk IX is armed with:
- 2 x 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons, wing-mounted (120 rpg = 240 total)
- 4 x 7.7 mm Browning machine guns, wing-mounted (350 rpg = 1,400 total)
The Spitfire F Mk IX can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 1 x 250 lb AN-M57 bomb (250 lb total)
Usage in battles
As a Spitfire Mk IX at its realistic mode battle rating, the most common and dangerous opponents are Bf 109s, normally the G-2/Trop and F-4 variants both of which often benefit from a better team composition on the axis side. When facing them, you should never attempt to hold an extended dogfight above 5,000 m as you will lose a significant portion of engine power in comparison to them. Instead, you should take the fight below 5 km where you can outrun a Bf 109 F-4, although Fw 190s and the German variant P-47 will catch up easily at the lower altitude.
The advantages of your plane in both an up-tier and down-tier remain largely the same in that you can out-turn almost anything except all models of the A6M "Zero" and the A7M "Reppu" along with earlier Spitfires you might face such as the Italian Spitfire Mk Vb/Trop. In this scenario you should play cautiously and try to energy fight them, extending away and climbing. For head-ons, since the armament of 2 x 20 mm and 4 x 7.7 mm machine guns are rather lacklustre, you usually should avoid these. If you really want to, though, use stealth rounds and fire from 1,000 to 1,400 metres away from the target while using a 500 m convergence. However, this Spitfire does best at mid-close ranges (200-600 metres) with either 400 m or 300 m convergence. The wing-mounted guns aren't really good for head-ons.
Another aspect to consider and adjust your playstyle to is that while the acceleration and turn time is good, engine overheating in RB and SB should be managed using manual engine controls and pulling more than 9 G while rolling puts you at risk of ripping your wing off. Additionally, since the Inline engine is very vulnerable to damage and the Spitfire requires lots of time on target, practice proper methods of attacking bombers using boom and zoom tactics as tail-sitting enemy bombers with decent defensive armaments like the Me 264 and the He 177 is not likely to end well at all.
In ground RB, the lacklustre suspended armament suggests that it is unadvised to engage ground targets. The 250 lb bomb may be worth taking to play your chances against a light tank or SPAA but extreme luck and skill is required to get a kill as extreme accuracy is required with the bomb. The offensive armament also lacks penetration and cannot be relied upon to kill ground vehicles - even SPAAs like the Ostwind, Wirbelwind and M16 MGMC will prevail against your 20 mm Hispano Mk.II cannons.
Manual Engine Control
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Pros and cons
- Great manoeuvrability.
- Good roll rate.
- Good low-level performance.
- Larger ammo supply of 120 RPG for the 20 mm cannons, compared to the Spitfires with the Type "B" wings with 60 RPG.
- Machine gun ammo pool of 350 RPG makes for good, prolonged backup weapons.
- Faster than previous Spitfire versions due to a newer engine.
- Lack of engine float carburettor allows for more forgiving negative-G manoeuvres and inverted flight (RB/SB).
- You can actually use tracers belts for machine guns, which means this aircraft can help new RB player with shooting.
- Like previous versions of British planes, the tracer belts are composed entirely of incendiary bullets (IT and AP-I).
- Incredibly fast climber, out-climbs 109s when upgraded
- Ammunition pool for 20 mm still relatively small, must be conservative when shooting.
- Cannons overheat and jam quickly, when not in 1942/1943 configuration.
- When 20 mm runs out or jams, the plane is left with only four 7.7 mm machine guns.
- Poor high altitude performance (above 5,000 m).
- Poor acceleration.
- Roll rate starts stiffening at ~400 km/h.
- Liquid-cooled engines mean one hit to the cooling system can force a return to the airfield for repairs (RB/SB).
- Very difficult to attack bombers, as the engine is very susceptible to damage from enemy gunners.
- Fragile airframe.
- Catches fire easily, not all fuel tanks are self sealing.
- 20 mm incredibly inaccurate even at close ranges when stock.
The Supermarine Spitfire was a British single-engine, all-metal, low-wing monoplane fighter. While the Mk VII and Mk VIII variants was being designed, a Spitfire Mk III was tested in September 1941 with the new Rolls Royce 60 in the hopes of developing an interim fighter to use as a stop gap measure. The new Spitfire performed exceptionally well, and was rushed into production as the Mk IX. The Air Fighting Development Unit described the Mk IX as 'outstandingly better than the Mk V especially at heights above 20,000 feet' and even though it was not fitted with the modified control surfaces under development for the Mk VII and Mk VIII, the Mk IX was more than capable of meeting the Focke-Wulf FW190 on favourable terms. The Mk IX was fitted with the Type C 'universal' wing and originally carried the tried and tested combination of two 20 mm cannon and four 0.303 inch machine guns, but in later versions the four 0.303 machine guns were replaced with two .50 calibre guns.
A total of 5,665 Mk IX were produced and 262 more Mk Vs were converted to Mk IX. Intended as a transitional stop-gap measure for the Mk VII and Mk VIII, the variant remained in production until the end of the war, ultimately becoming the most mass-produced Spitfire version. This mark was also used as a fighter-bomber and as a reconnaissance aircraft. Further modifications were incorporated into the Mk IX throughout its service life, such as a gyroscopic gunsight, bubble canopy and modified engine intercooler. Widely considered to be the most capable fighter in the world at the time of its introduction, it would take the introduction of the Rolls Royce Griffon engine to push the Spitfire into its next stage of evolution.
- Other Spitfire Mk IX variants
- Spitfire F Mk IXc
- Spitfire LF Mk IX
- Plagis' Spitfire LF Mk IXc
- Spitfire Mk IXc (USSR)
- Spitfire LF Mk IXc (USA)
|Merlin engine||Spitfire Mk Ia · Spitfire Mk IIa · Spitfire Mk.IIa Venture I · Spitfire Mk IIb|
|Spitfire Mk Vb · Spitfire Mk Vb/trop · Spitfire Mk Vc · Spitfire Mk Vc/trop|
|Spitfire F Mk IX · Spitfire F Mk IXc · Spitfire F Mk XVI|
|Spitfire LF Mk IX · Plagis' Spitfire LF Mk IXc|
|Griffon engine||Spitfire F Mk XIVc · Spitfire F Mk XIVe · Spitfire FR Mk XIVe · Spitfire F Mk XVIIIe · Spitfire F Mk 22 · Spitfire F Mk 24|
|Export||▄Spitfire Mk Vb/trop · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc · ▂Spitfire Mk IXc · Spitfire Mk IXc · Spitfire Mk.IX (CW) · Spitfire LF Mk.IXe Weizman's|
|Seafires||Seafire LF Mk.III · Seafire F Mk XVII · Seafire FR 47|
|Export||▄Seafire LF Mk.III|
|Jet fighters||Attacker FB 1 · Attacker FB.2 · Scimitar F Mk.1 · Swift F.1 · Swift F.7|